If you are applying for the F-1 student visa, follow the instructions below to complete the I-20 process.
Once you finish these steps, you must complete the remaining enrollment steps.
DO NOT make travel arrangements before you receive the visa.
- Receive the I-20
The International Student Office will send you the Form 1-20 for your F-1 appointment. This form certifies your eligibility to study at ACC but does not guarantee visa approval. DO NOT make travel arrangements until your visa is approved.
To receive your I-20
Go to University Express Mail Services (eShipGlobal) to register for an account and pay for shipment of the Form I-20. You need your I-20 before you can apply for the F-1 visa. Your documents are shipped 3-5 days following payment.
Provide the following information to eShipGlobal:
- Alternate ID number assigned by ACC
- Physical mailing address where documents will be shipped. No P.O. boxes allowed. (Alert the recipient if this is not your address.)
- Email address
- Phone number
- Credit card information for payment
- Pay SEVIS I-901 fee
The SEVIS I-901 fee is required for all F-1 visa students. Once you receive your Form I-20, go to the SEVIS I-901 fee processing website for instructions on paying your SEVIS fee.
- Apply for visa/schedule interview
Refer to the U.S. Department of State non-immigrant visa website to complete the required application forms:
Confirm you have the required documents and schedule your visa interview following the instructions on the website of your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Be sure your name is spelled correctly and appears the same on all documents
- Read “10 tips to remember when applying for a non-immigrant visa”
- Note: You may not receive an F-1 visa more than 120 days before the program start date on your I-20/DS-2019.
If all goes according to plan, you will receive an F-1 visa stamp in your passport. Congratulations!
Some U.S. Embassies actually put your I-20 in a sealed envelope and staple it to your passport. It is recommended that you do not open this envelope. The immigration officer at the U.S. port-of-entry will open it and check your documents when you arrive. Check your visa for errors before you leave the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Make travel arrangements
Plan to arrive in the United States two to four weeks before the program start date. You may NOT enter the U.S. more than 30 days before this date. You must enter the U.S. by the program start date on your I-20 to avoid being turned away at the U.S. port-of-entry.
- Additional tasks before arrival